Website redesign is a partnership. Once you figure out the perfect agency to walk with you through the process, there are some things you can do to set yourself up for success. Here are some ways to use that new project energy to save you time later in the process.
1. Set up Google Analytics
If you don’t already have Google Analytics installed, do it now. (Here are step-by-step instructions for setting up Google Analytics on your website.) Google Analytics will show your web designer how people are currently using your site. This way, they can figure out what to do to improve your site’s performance.
2. Set up Google Search Console
Google Search Console shows your web designer how search engine friendly your site’s content is. Sign up for Google Search Console and verify your domain.
Tip: If your current site is running on WordPress you can use this Site Kit plugin to easily set up Analytics and Search Console.
3. Select a project leader
Ever heard the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen?” While the input of all members of an organization is valuable, things run most smoothly when there is a primary point of contact to act as the project manager. Ideally, the person you select as the project leader will be familiar with the overall goals of the organization as well as the inner workings of the website.
4. Brainstorm goals for your new website
Most creative agencies will begin with a comprehensive strategy phase (like the Brand Builder and strategy session we use at P&P). This phase clarifies the goals of your website. The more clear you are on your goals before the process begins, the quicker you can get to the solution process and the stronger your outcome will be.
5. Look for inspiration
Although you are hiring a designer to create your website, chances are they are going to ask you for some inspiration. The inspiration you select will say a lot about your organization and what it values. Web designers are experts in all things websites, but you are the expert in the values of your organization.
6. Start gathering content
Even if copywriting is included in your package, you are going to be expected to provide the “bones” of the copy. Begin thinking about some great images that you want to use. A good place to start is organizing details about your current staff members (names, email addresses, bios, and photos).
7. Think about what your current site does (and does not) do well
You’ve probably received some feedback about your website, and have some opinions about what is and is not working. Gather all of these into a document that you can share with your design team when the time comes.
8. Get clear on who your website is serving
Start to think through your audience. Who is looking at your website? Who do you want to be looking at your website? What do you want them to do?
9. Gather digital account information
Websites typically consist of three main components, and it’s important that you have complete control over as many of these components as possible. At minimum, make sure you know where your domain is registered and confirm that you have the correct username and password. If possible, get access to your website editor with administrative permissions and document your username and password. Finally, find out where your website is hosted and confirm the credentials for that platform.